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Savings Guide

Energy efficient cars to reduce your power consumption

Energy effecient carsAs more and more people become aware of the twin crises of energy production and climate change, the energy- and climate-friendly products that have been introduced to the market in recent years have moved out of the periphery and square into the mainstream. While it remains the case that the best way to deal with the looming energy crisis is to change the way we use energy – by applying a ‘turn it off at the wall’ approach with products like the EcoSwitch – the fact is, we all still need to commute to our jobs or drive to the grocery store.

The idea that people might be convinced to stop driving altogether and use public transportation is simply not going to happen unless economic factors force people to do so. As a result, instead of admonishing people to stop using petrol and stop driving, it’s a better strategy to educate them on the benefits of energy efficient cars, such as electric cars, hybrid cars, or simply good old-fashioned high-MPG models.

Save energy, save money

The market and production for energy efficient cars has matured to the point where there are real savings involved for just about every consumer. Statistics have shown that a hybrid petrol-electric vehicle such as the trailblazing Toyota Prius can save the average driver thousands of dollars over the course of years in reduced fuel costs. These fuel cost savings are persuasive in selling more energy efficient automobiles to consumers who are not particularly aware or concerned about energy shortages or the impact of emissions and energy production on the climate.

Energy efficient cars not just about hybrids

In today’s market for energy efficient cars, the ‘classic’ hybrid is just one option. Fully electric cars and traditional internal-combustion engines have matured into legitimately environmentally-friendly options.

However, the hybrid remains the strongest technological player due to its extremely efficient fuel economy, best-of-both-worlds approach, and established popular recognition. The Ford C-Max line, for example, unveiled at the International Auto Show 2013, is Ford’s direct competitor to the Prius. The C-Max is a hybrid car that will get an average of 47 MPG in the city or on the highway. It was recently named the world’s greenest car due to Ford’s recent commitment to using recycled and post-consumer materials in its cars, such as recycled denim upholstery and soy-based cushioning material. This underscores the evolution of the energy efficient car market, from a pure focus on MPG and fuel efficiency, to a growing awareness that car makers need to take a holistic approach to the concept of the ‘green’ car.

Fully electric cars are beginning to appear practical to consumers as well, and this is reflected in a growing focus on the technology at the International Auto Show. The Fiat 500e, for example, fully charges at a standard household outlet in four hours and gets an impressive 108MPGe, and the Nissan Leaf, which gets 106MPGe. The Chevy Spark is another major player in the field of all-electric costs. Of course, currently electricity is cheaper than petrol, but electricity has to be generated and costs are bound to rise, and the electric car could be seen as simply passing the environmental impact of your car down the line.

Finally, the fuel efficiency of the traditional petrol engine has improved tremendously, making it possible for consumers to purchase a car with no hybrid or electric components but still be making an environmentally-sound decision. The Ford Fiesta, for example, is a traditional petrol-powered engine, but sports 40MPG, which is amazing enough to make it a car you can buy in good conscience.

Energy efficiency for every lifestyle

As the market for energy efficient cars matures, it means that whatever a consumer’s car needs are, they can find a model that serves them. From the C-Max, a perfect model for a young family on the go, to the Chevy Spark, a traditional mid-size sedan that will appeal to a large segment of the working population, to the Tesla S which will appeal to anyone lusting after a sports-car experience, the new hybrid, electric, and fuel-efficient cars service every possible segment of the market. This means that being responsible in your car purchase no longer means sacrificing utility or performance.